Sailors & Swine
All Hail The Drunken Liar, the
debut album for the Melbourne quartet, takes Sailors & Swine’s clear affection
for country music’s blood-soaked narratives and twanging guitars and
subsumes them in a bass-heavy post-punk squall not unlike that of The Birthday
Party’s early years. Opener ‘Holy Shark’ staggers violently into the room and
loudly announces the band’s intentions with snarled baritone vocals, a kicking
groove and jagged, distorted guitar twangs all swinging drunkenly from a
bass-line of such commendable filthiness, it almost demands an immediate
shower on the part of the listener. The group then proceed to explore their
country/post-punk hybrid to full effect, from the darkly poetic and yearning
‘Miner’s Bride’, to the vicious, stomping swing of ‘The Birds’ and the
unsettling blackened waltz of ‘Stranger’. It’s a hybrid that works to
surprisingly consistent effect, proving viscerally primal, slyly intelligent
and disturbingly sordid all at once, leaving the entirety of All Hail The
Drunken Liar suffused with a dark, faintly horrifying, psychedelic atmosphere.
It’s an atmosphere which will endure as a tantalisingly uncomfortable memory
long after the individual songs have concluded and which distinguishes All
Hail The Drunken Liar as a very impressive debut.
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'All Hail The Drunken Liar'